Most people do not face any problem taking a brisk walk or climbing a flight of stairs. However, the same cannot be said about people suffering from asthma. Asthma makes such simple activities tough.

There are about 2 crore people suffering from Asthma in India, of which 10% to 15% are children aged between 5 and 11 years. And the count is on the rise. Some of the major causes of asthma are dust, pollutants, pollen, weather changes, mites, cockroaches, hazardous gases and air pollution.

Unfortunately, there is no cure but the condition can be kept under control by taking the necessary measures. Following are certain tips to help manage asthma in adults and children to ensure a better life:

I. Have an Asthma Action Plan

There should be a written asthma action plan with all the information and instructions provided by the doctor. This is meant to be followed by the asthma nurse, the parents or anybody else in charge of the patient. It is also important to follow the action plan as a part of self-management practice.

The action plan would include how and when the medicines to be taken, what to do during flare-ups, how to avoid triggers, how to recognize and manage an asthma attack and when the doctor must be called.

By having this kind of an action plan, a person is four times less likely to suffer an asthma attack needing emergency hospitalization.

II. Take the Medicines as Prescribed

Even though there is no cure yet in order to regulate the symptoms both children and adults are prescribed medicines. While some are to be taken on a regular basis, there are others that are to be used only during flare-ups. The medicines could be in the form of nebulizer, inhaler, pill or liquid. One must continue with the medicines as per prescription. It is also advisable for the patient to carry the medicines around to deal with a sudden flare-up.

III. Identify and Avoid Triggers

Different people would have different triggers that could cause flare-ups or asthma attack. The trigger could be anything from allergens to viral infections. Find out the triggers that cause issues for yourself or your child. The next thing to do is to avoid them as much as possible. It is true that one cannot avoid the triggers at all time. In order to deal with such a situation, one must ask the doctor to prescribe preventive medicines. Parents could consult the doctor to run tests for allergies in their children.

IV. Stop Smoking

A person with asthma must quit smoking at all cost. It may be difficult in the beginning but with time it is achievable. It is also advisable to stay away from people while they are smoking. Passive smoking is equally dangerous hence should be avoided too

V. Get Your Child a Flu Vaccine Every Year

If an asthma patient gets the flu, the risk of flare-ups and a more serious condition increase manifolds. Talk to your doctor about adminstration of flu vaccine.

VI. Cough and Wheeze

Whether or not the process of diagnosing asthma is completed, find out what does it mean when your child is coughing or wheezing. Accordingly, ensure the way to ease it by taking to the doctor.

VII. Spot the Signs and Symptoms of Flare-Ups

There are certain signs and symptoms that may indicate an upcoming asthma attack. These tend to show up hours and sometimes even two or three days before the attack. Be it in the form of coughing, wheezing or an allergic reaction keep a close watch on the warning signs and take the necessary precaution .

These simple steps can make a big difference and help you tackle asthma in a better way. You can also choose to go for home-based respiratory services offered by Nightingales to ensure proper management of asthma and cope with sudden flare-ups.